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EU Ecolabel for graphic paper, tissue paper and tissue products

EU Ecolabel is the eco-quality brand that the European Union assigns to products and services which are designed, manufactured and marketed respecting the environment. Environmental performance is measured throughout the product or service life cycle through an LCA-type analysis (Life-Cycle Assessment).
Green labelling is often a requirement set by public offices in Procurement Policies.

Which products are awarded with Ecolabel?

The product group “Graphic Paper” comprises: sheets or reels of not converted, unprinted blank paper or board, whether plain or coloured, made from pulp and fit to be used for writing, printing or conversion purposes. It includes paper intended for newspapers.

The product group “Tissue Paper and Tissue Products” comprises sheets or reels of not converted tissue paper for conversion into the following products (and the products themselves): tissue products fit for use for personal hygiene, absorption of liquids or the cleaning of surfaces, or for a combination of those purposes. Examples of included products are handkerchiefs, toilet tissues, facial tissues, kitchen or household towels, hand towels, table napkins, mats and industrial wipes.

The new Ecolabel criteria for graphic paper and tissue paper and products

The Commission Decision 2019/70/EU has been published on the 17th of January 2019, including the revised criteria which apply to graphic paper and tissue paper and products, and the related assessment and verification requirements.

How to get the EU Ecolabel?

  • Where to apply

    The license for the use of the trademark is issued by the Ecolabel national committees.
    The Flower logo, which is associated with the license number, is required then on all products and services that are included in the license for identification purpose.
    The application shall be submitted to the competent body of the Member State where the product or service is manufactured.
    When the product or service originates in the same form in several Member States, the application can be submitted to the relevant body of one of such Member States.

  • How much does it cost?

    Generally speaking the costs related to the EU Ecolabel can be divided in two categories:

    • Application fee, that can vary according to the company’s dimension
    • Annual license fee, that can vary according to the annual turnover of labelled products or services

    Additional recognised environmental certifications can often be reason for rebates.
    For detailed information on what applies to single Member States you need to refer to the national competent body.

  • How to apply

    Detailed instruction, user’s manuals and forms are available on the national competent body’s website. The application form is subject both to a technical and an administrative review, at the end of which the EU Ecolabel license is granted.

Eight environmental criteria for graphic paper and tissue paper and products

The new criteria for each product group aim to promote energy efficient manufacturing processes which deliver reduced emissions of substances that contribute to the eutrophication of watercourses, the acidification of the atmosphere and climate change, restrict the use of hazardous substances and use raw materials sourced from sustainably managed forests or recycled materials which contributes to facilitate the transition to a more circular economy.

1. Water and air emissions
The production process’ levels of COD, phosphorus and Aox (halogen organic substances) in wastewater are compared with reference values at a European level. The same for values of Nox, sulphur and CO2, the latter from non-renewable energy sources, in air emissions.
2. Energy consumption
Energy consumption is measured during pulp production and paper processing.
3. Fibres
The way in which the raw material was acquired is assessed. Ecolabel allows only producers who demonstrate the provision of sustainable fibres, i.e. FSC or PEFC certified fibres coming from legally managed supply chains.
4. Hazardous substances and mixtures
The presence of substances subject to restrictions of use is assessed, with regard to the CLP and SVHC regulations, and to specific substances and mixtures such as chlorine, EPA, tensioactive, biocides, azo dyes, metal-based dyes and pigments, ion impurities in dye materials, lotions.
5. Waste
A plan is needed to manage and minimise the waste production, focusing on separate collection and recycling of materials, waste recovery and hazardous waste management procedures.
6. Finished product
Products shall not contain dangerous substances beyond pre-determined limits, and shall be accompanied by a guarantee of suitability for the intended use, which shall be assessed through relevant transfer tests.
7. Packaging information
Specific instructions shall be present on the packaging of the graphic paper products in order to optimize its use, by encouraging the reduction of waste and the recycling.
8. Labelling information within EU Ecolabel logo
The EU Ecolabel logo shall be printed on each product or on the packaging according to the guidelines, which also include the statements which are allowed in the optional part of the label.

Ecol Studio Top Services for Paper&Board Industry

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Get the Ecolabel!

Thanks to the know-how acquired over years of analysis and consultancy in the paper industry, our experts will effectively help your company identify and maintain the technical and management measures which are needed to comply with the Ecolabel criteria, guiding you throughout the whole process from application to license.
Contact us now: fill out the form with your needs, we will answer as soon as possible!

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